Physics-based Instrument Modelling

The increasing computational power available on embedded hardware or regular PCs and the current trends in musical production and performance require high fidelity instrument emulation in small factor hardware. This led in recent years to the development of novel techniques for musical instruments analysis, modelling and synthesis. Currently available DSPs and processors well support the use of DWG (Digitale Waveguide) techniques, which require low computational power, thus, yielding a high polyphony even on non-dedicated hardware (e.g. on ARM platforms). DWG modeling has been extensively adopted for the synthesis of the Clavinet, an electromechanical keyboard instrument which nowadays is hard to find and looked for by many musicians. Other techniques, however, such as FDTD (Finite-Difference Time Domain) modelling are increasingly appealing as their computational power is currently scalable to commercial hardware and thus acceptable for real-time synthesis. An interesting field of research is the mixed DWG-FDTD modelling, explored in recently published works. The benefits of both techniques can be thus achieved, also introducing to a unified vision of all physics-based synthesis methods for mechanical and electrical networks.

Other related areas of research are those related to the assessment of musical instruments emulation quality, or likelihood. A first method has been proposed to that extent, in order to better characterize the fidelity of the emulated sound in terms of distinguishability.

Part of the work conducted in this field has been partnered by the Dept. of Signal Processing and Acoustics of the Aalto University of Finland.

Related pubblications

    • L. Gabrielli, V. Välimäki, H. Penttinen, S. Squartini, S. Bilbao, “A digital waveguide based approach for Clavinet modeling and synthesis ”, in EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing, May 2013 - COMPANION PAGE
    • L. Gabrielli, L. Remaggi, S. Squartini, V. Välimäki, “A Finite Difference Method for the Excitation of a Digital Waveguide String Model”, in Proc. AES 134th Convention, Rome, Italy, 2013 - COMPANION PAGE
    • L. Remaggi, L. Gabrielli, R. C. D. de Paiva, V. Välimäki, S. Squartini “A pickup model for the Clavinet”, in Proc. DAFx2012, York, UK, Sept. 2012 - COMPANION PAGE
    • L. Gabrielli, S. Squartini, V. Välimäki “A subjective Validation Method for Musical Instrument Emulation”, in Proc. AES 131st convention, New York, USA, Oct. 2011
    • L. Gabrielli, V. Välimäki, S. Bilbao, “Real-Time Emulation of the Clavinet”, Int. Computer Music Conference (ICMC2011), Huddersfield, UK, Aug. 2011 - COMPANION PAGE